A study published in Ecological Applications has revealed that nature around one's home can help alleviate negative mental health effects caused by the pandemic and the associated isolation and lockdowns.
The study surveyed 3,000 adults in in Tokyo via an online questionnaire about five mental-health outcomes and two measures of nature experiences. The mental-health outcomes are depression, life satisfaction, subjective happiness, self-esteem and loneliness. The measures of nature experiences are frequency of greenspace use and green view through windows from home.
Results of the survey showed that more frequent greenspace use and green window views from the home were associated with increased levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and subjective happiness, as well as decreased levels of depression and loneliness. "Our results suggest that nearby nature can serve as a buffer in decreasing the adverse impacts of a very stressful event on humans," said lead author Masashi Soga, PhD. "Protecting natural environments in urban areas is important not only for the conservation of biodiversity, but also for the protection of human health."